Discussion in 'Chompion's League' started by cyhiphopp, Dec 18, 2012.
2017 Notre Dame Fighting Irish!
Week 1 - A NEW ERA
The first play of the J.R. Gant era? A 76 yard TD on a zone read play. Gant would reel off another 78 yarder in the second quarter. It got ugly fast against the outmatched Demon Deacons. They turned it over 4 times and only passed the 50 in the 4th quarter against the backups to get their lone TD of the game. Notre Dame only attempted 16 passes in the game and still dominated. The Irish attempted one pass in the 4th quarter on 3rd down, and the WR broke open for an easy TD. Everything was coming up Golden. Even when the backups came in. The first play for backup QB Eric Williams? 45 yard TD.
Quick rundown of the the ND vs Michigan battle.
This one was a slobber knocker. Both teams came to hit and the defenses really were the stars of the show. Notre Dame was lucky to get some big plays early to get a decent lead because Michigan didn't want to give up anything. Fortunately for Notre Dame, their defense didn't want to either.
On the first drive of the game it looked like the Irish would roll. They efficiently drove the ball down the field. However, the Wolverine D stiffened significantly in the redzone and forced a field goal. The TD of the game came on a long scamper by, you guessed it, JR Gant. However Michigan looked to answer soon after. They got their power running game rolling strong and methodically worked their way down the field mixing in efficient passing. But this time it was Notre Dames turn to stiffen up in the Red Zone. A play action pass was picked off in the end zone for a HUGE momentum swing. A possible 10-7 score disappeared and ND did not give up any points in the first half. In fact, they pounced on the Wolverines and put two more TDs on the board including a bomb with 5 seconds left int he half. The half time score was 24-0 but could have been much closer without the crucial turnover.
The second half was a slugfest. Notre Dame was foiled in their attempt to grind it out with the power run game and Michigan was able to get on the board for their first score, 24-7. The Michigan D did their job in the second half pounding the ND offense and limiting them to just two field goals.
Unfortunately for the UM faithful, turnovers would be their undoing. The Wolverines needed to get multiple scores and were forced to pass. The ND defense came up with 3 more interceptions in the second half. All 4 interceptions were to the same redshirt freshman safety (whose name escapes me here at work). Needless to say, he was the player of the game for the defense.
Final score, 30-7. Turnovers kept this from being a nail biter. Both team look forward to taking on their next conference opponent and hope there isn't any hangover from this tough game.
(Not actual game footage)
The Irish invited Clemson into Notre Dame Stadium and apparently the Tigers were not intimidated by Touchdown Jesus. ND came out of the gates cold and could not get the ball moving on offense, allowing Clemson to score one two early possessions. Luckily the defense was stingy enough to force field goals instead of TDs even after Clemson had first and goal both times. The first quarter ended with the score 3-0 so it looked like this might be a low scoring affair.
After Clemsons second field goal early in the second quarter The Irish got of the schnide driving 75 yards for the first touchdown of the game. Clemson answered with a touchdown of their own making the score 14-13 ND. ND got the ball back with just a few minutes left in the half and scored with just under a minute to play. The TD came on a huge pass play from JR Gant hitting his wideout in stride on a flag route. Apparently they left too much time on the clock though because Clemson was able to string together a few big plays and kick another field goal as time expired in the first half. Halftime score 21-16 ND. A Defensive battle now looked to be turning into a shootout. Last team with the ball wins?
The third quarter was more of the same. Each team scored 10 points to keep the game within one score. Notre Dame scored first in the fourth quarter driving the ball down into the redzone before coming up short on third down and taking the easy 3 points. 34-26 Irish. Coach HipHopp felt good making it an 8 point lead. After the ensuing kick-off the defense made the biggest play of the game. Clemson committed their first turnover, a pick 6 to the nickel CB. Clemson would not be able to answer and The Irish would get another insurance touchdown to stretch the lead to 48-26. So much for the defensive slugfest. A close game through 3 quarters turned into a mini blow out with 17 straight points scored by Notre Dame in the 4th quarter.
QB JR Gant came up huge in the one going 14-20 for over 300 yards and 90+ yards rushing in a game where ever score mattered. Clemson gave The Irish their best shot but couldn't finish.
I have no idea how Clemson has lost 2 game before this. They are a talented team that sustained a lot of drives on offense and made a lot of big plays on D. They drop to 4-3 and likely out of the top 25 for a while. ND soldiers on toward the epic end of season showdown with Chompions league rival and now conference rival Georgia Tech. The two teams had some tough matchups in a home and home in previous seasons with ND coming out on top. This coming matchup has so much more riding on it with the ACC, and National Titles in the balance. ND has a matchup with long time rival USC and another conference game before the big GT matchup and the team is chomping at the bit.
FSU is back from their BYE weeks just as Notre Dame goes on a BYE.
However this week is not without event. On the eve of Notre Dames first real life National Championship since 1998, The Chompions Irish jumped past Georgia Tech to the #1 spot in the rankings thanks in large part to their HUGE win over previously #3 USC. Both human and computer polls took notice.
Of course the Yellow Jackets will undoubtedly use this as motivation for the upcoming Week 13 showdown and chances are, a rematch in the ACC Championship game.
NOTRE DAME OUR MOTHER! PRAY FOR US!
It was a game of swings. Georgia Tech held the momentum for most of the first half. The Irish scored first on a huge run by JR Gant early in the first, but the GT defense held ND in check for most of the first half. The Wramblin Wreck sustained multiple drives in the opening half and controlled the time of possession for the early part of the game. They capitalized on a 15 yard pass with 1:46 left in the second quarter to knot it up at 7-7. JR Gant and the Irish had enough time to string together a few pass plays and HB Jason Newberry lined up in the slot and streaked open for a 40 yard bomb with just under a minute left in the half. GT was unable to answer and the opening stanza ended with a 14-7 Irish lead. Big plays were the only salvation for Notre Dame as they had issues sustaining long drives against a swarm of Yellow Jacket defenders.
The third quarter both defenses pounded on the opposing offenses. Notre Dame was able to drive down in the the red zone and score the only 3rd quarter points on a 2 yard sneak by Gant. The Irish extended their lead to 21-7. The 4th quarter is where the momentum completely shifted to the Irish and the ground game earned their shollies. ND was the recipient of a Georgia Tech turnover that gave them the ball deep in GT territory. A big sack by Tech forced a long 3rd down. JR Gant was able to find WR Joe Stewart in the corner of the end zone to, in essence, put the game away. 28-7 Irish.
Tech would string together a drive on a 6 yard pass to pull it within 2 scores, but they did so with less than 4 minutes left and the ND offensive line asserted their will on a tough GT defense that had to be feeling the effects of playing all out for the whole game. They gave ND everything they had but to no avail. They stayed aggressive till the end of course and Jason Newberry took advantage, taking a dive play up the middle for a 47 yard TD while trying to run the clock with 1:29 left on the clock.
Final score 35-14 Notre Dame. This was a much closer game than the final score indicated. GT had the Irish on the ropes in the first half and picked Gant of twice to put themselves in a position to win it. Tech ended up with more first downs than the Irish even. The big plays ended up on the side of Notre Dame however.
GT has a rivalry matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs and will then meet up with ND for a rematch in the ACC Championship. Notre Dame won't have home field advantage on their side for that one and will likely need to mix up their bag of tricks as Tech will surely throw everything they have at Notre Dame in hopes of revenge, a BCS bid, and a chance to spring the Irish's National Title hopes.
Putting the 'D' in Defense!
If there was any question what kind of game the ACC Championship would be, it was answered on the first series of the game. Georgia Tech received the opening kickoff and kicked their fast paced offense into gear. After a few quick gains their athletic QB scrambled in an attempt to gain some big yards. Coach HipHopp expected this and had his Butkus award finalist Andrew Brown spying the QB. He was the lone defender between the QB and a likely huge gain. BOOM! FUMBLE! Brown came into the game leading the team in fumbles forced and the GT quarterback, while athletically gifted, is not known for his sure handedness. An Irish defensive end promptly picked up the fumble and rumbled in for the first score of the game. 7-0 Notre Dame.
The defensive effort did not end there. Georgia Tech promptly threw a pick on their next possession. Their defense was stout however and forced a punt. But the Notre Dame defense struck again. Andrew Brown forced ANOTHER fumble recovered by ND. Notre Dame would end up throwing it right back to GT though. The GT defense threw everything they had at JR Gant. This was the only game of the season where was kept he under wraps all day and held to under 100 yards rushing. The Irish defense would bail him out however.
The first quarter was filled with action, but all defensive. The last play of the quarter, fittingly, was a BIG sack by a Notre Dame defensive tackle throwing his opposing guard out of the way and plowing over the GT quarterback. The score after the opening quarter, 7-0 with just the defensive touchdown. There would be more fireworks to come.
Notre Dame would get on the board offensively in the second quarter with a TD pass early but most of the 2nd quarter was engulfed in the defensive battle that raged on. Georgia Tech was also able to sustain a long drive and score a TD on a sharp pass to the TE. 14-7 Irish. ND would get the ball back just before halftime and attempt to get another score before heading for the locker room. The Tech defense promptly broke through and sacked Gant for a big loss bringing up a third and really long with the clock winding down. Gant threw up a prayer and connected on a LOOONG bomb to his WR who just squeeked past the GT defensive backs. A dagger right in the back of a Tech defense that had done everything so well for the first half. ND carried each other to the locker room with a 21-7 lead at half.
The slobberknocker continued in the second half. Notre Dame's punter, who has languished on the sidelines most of the season was called into action over and over as the GT defense thwarted NDs offense over and over. The punter delievered, punting more times than he had all season and unleashing big kicks to flip field position and force the Tech offense to traverse the length of the field on almost ever drive. The Notre Dame defense did not disappoint. GTs offense would show life at times, breaking off a good run or breaking free in the secondary for a solid pass, but the Irish defenders quickly recovered and prevented them from scoring on any of the long plays. Tech was forced to sustain drives and hold on to the ball in order to score, something that proved difficult.
Georgia Techs defense did their part as well. Notre Dame would only score 3 more points in the contest on a mid range field goal that put them up 24-7. Tech mounted a late drive and came up with a TD with 4 minutes left in the game. They chose to kick deep instead of trying for the onside kick. The Irish offense, battered all game, iced it. They picked up a BIG rushing first down and continued to run the ball and drain the clock. GT used a few time outs but would have just over 1 minute remaining when ND punted the ball back to them. Techs last offensive play was an intercepted pass. ND then trotted out in the Victory formation and took a knee.
Huge props to Rekkapryde. He was obviously not happy with the results of our recent conference matchup and threw everything at me in the rematch.
Notre Dame has compiled a lot of stats this season. Passing Yds, Rushing Yds, Receiving Yds, TDs, Tackles, Sacks... But one stat that not many have noticed is turnover margin. Notre Dame came into the ACC Championship leading the country in TO margin at +14. GT would force two INTs, but the Irish defense came away with 7 turn overs. 5 picks between two QBs and 2 fumbles. That decided the game right there.
Coach HipHopp brought his first conference championship to the ND trophy room. Now they look forward to a matchup with TEXAS in the National Championship!
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